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Weekly Training Update (Oct 24)

I’m sorry to report we had a couple of setbacks this week. Here are the challenges we faced.

Our idea to dress Tom up as various kinds of “strangers” is not going well. He’s scaring the heck out of Lilly in his various get-ups. Part of it, I think, is that we don’t get many visitors to our house, so it freaks her out to see someone she doesn’t recognize in our kitchen or living room or whatever.

So, it looks like we’ll have to go back to him just being himself and doing the 13 tasks until she gets her confidence and calmness back.

Then, on our way home from our walk one morning this week, we encountered 6 dogs in quick succession, and 4 of them were loose. The first loose pair barked and charged us, so (no surprise) Lilly barked and growled and lunged back at them. (Their owner called them back as fast as he could and apologized, but still.) Then we ended up sandwiched on the road between the 2 loose, growling dogs and 2 barking dogs behind a nearby fence, who came out to challenge the 2 who charged us.

I did manage to get her to focus on me after the first outburst, and I shoveled food in her face. She continued to eat, albeit like a little shark, but at least she did not refuse.

She recovered and got smiley again as we rounded the corner, but then our wayward pals from Monday’s rescue operation on the road were loose again. She didn’t see them until we got back onto our fenced property, but she still got in some good barking at them because they were SO excited to see me.

As in … HEY, look! It’s the nice lady with food!

Once I convinced Lilly to go inside with Ginko, I ran along our fenceline so the dogs would follow me to our gate, where I could let them in and get them off the road. Their mommy was in Vegas, and I couldn’t reach the dog sitter for several hours, so Miss Belle and Mr Clyde spent part of the day with me, which meant that Lilly and Ginko had to be crated inside.

I took a picture of them because they really are just the sweetest things, but I can’t find the camera at the moment. (It’s been a l-o-n-g day!)

All in all, it was a tough day for Lilly. After not really seeing many dogs since July, 6 dogs in like 5 minutes was just TOO much at once.

Roxanne Hawn

Trained as a traditional journalist and based in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, USA, I'm a full-time freelance writer for magazines, websites, and private clients. My areas of specialty include everything in the lifestyles arena, including health and home, personal finance and other consumer interests, relationships and trends, people and business profiles ... and, of course, all things pet related. I don't just love dogs. I need them in my life. Seriously.